Michael P. Juskey is an Uttering Threats Lawyer who will vigorously defend your case. Uttering Threats (Criminal Code 264.1) is a serious criminal offence that most commonly involves some form of verbal confrontation and an intention to instil fear in another person, or group. The offence criminalizes words that contain a threat to cause death or bodily harm to someone, damage their property or kill/injure someone’s pet (or any animal which is the property of the complainant). Section 264.1 makes it a crime to simply utter words to this effect – it is irrelevant as to whether the accused person was actually capable of carrying out the threat. It is also important to note that conditional threats are not excluded from the scope of section 264.1 (see the Ontario Court of Appeal decision of R. v. Ross (1986), 26 C.C.C. (3d) 413.
Uttering Threats is a specific intent offence, which means intoxication may amount to a viable defence to the charge. Specific intent offences require that the accused carry a specific intent or purpose while he/she commits the offence. This means that the accused person, while they utter the threat, must specifically intend that it is meant to be taken seriously. This requirement ensures that individuals who casually or carelessly make threats in jest, or in a joking manner, are not convicted. There is also case law to support the argument that a threat made in the course of letting out steam, or venting, may not necessarily be meant to be taken seriously.